Early Justice League of America Villains

The Justice League's Silver Age Rogues Gallery

 

 

The Justice League of America, the premier superhero team in the DC Comics Universe (DCU), and has served as a template for superhero teams in both the DC and Marvel Universes.

The first appearance of the team known as the Justice League, came in a DC Comics title called The Brave and The Bold. In Brave and the Bold #28, published on December 29, 1959 (though the official publication date is March of 1960), , a group of heroes are called together to deal with the threat of an alien invasion. Unlike many other superhero first appearances, this story was not also an origin story. As Aquaman discovers the threat of the alien being called Starro, he summons the Justice League of America (JLA) together. It is clear from the story in this comic that these heroes (Aquaman, Batman, Flash, Green Lantern, Martian Manhunter, Superman, and Wonder Woman) have all worked together before, though there is no hint as to how long the team has worked together, or what led them these heroes to form the Justice League of America. While it is clear that both Batman and Superman are part of the JLA, though they do not participate in the battles with Starro.

At this time in comic book history, Batman and Superman were the most popular superheroes, and, in terms of publication history, DC Comics sought to create a team book that could bring together a group that would feature their "second tier" heroes, such as Green Lantern, Flash, and the Martian Manhunter. Wonder Woman was fairly popular at the time, but not to the same level as Batman and Superman. In fact, the cover of Brave and the Bold #28, features all the heroes but Batman and Superman.

This era of comic book history is known as the Silver Age of Comics, and, through various DC Comics re-boots and re-launches over the years, many of the events and specific character details in modern comics are different. In DC Comics lore, these issues and stories comprise part of the history of "Earth-One" which is basically the stories of DC's Silver Age.

 

Below is a list of the League's first 18 published adventures, with emphasis on the villains they faced.

 

 

 

Brave and the Bold #28- Starro the Conqueror. Starro is an alien who attacks Earth and is defeated by the JLA. He will return many times, and is still a threat to Earth.

Brave and the Bold #29-The Weapons Master. Xotar is a super-criminal from the year 11,960 A.D., who discovers Wonder Woman's ancient diary, and realizes he is destined to fight the Justice League. This issue has the full JLA (Aquaman, Batman, Flash, Green Lantern, Martian Manhunter, Superman, and Wonder Woman, plus Snapper Carr) involved the action.

Brave and the Bold #30-Professor Ivo and Amazo. Professor Ivo create his robot, which he called Amazo, with the ability to steal and mimic the powers and abilities of other creatures, superheroes included. This issue has the full JLA (Aquaman, Batman, Flash, Green Lantern, Martian Manhunter, Superman, and Wonder Woman, plus Snapper Carr) involved in story, though Superman and Batman, never actually face Ivo or Amazo. This issue also features a came by Flash villain, Mirror Master. Flash is battling him in the early part of the story, though Mirror Master is not connected to the plot by Ivo and Amazo.

This was the last early JLA adventure in Brave and the Bold, as their next appearance was in their own book, titled Justice League of America.

 

Justice League of America #1-Despero, an alien villain from the planet Kalanor. This issue features the full JLA complement, though it is Snapper Carr who actually defeats the villain.

 

Justice League of America #2 -The JLA teams up with the famous mage Merlin, against three evil magic-users, Simon Magus, Saturna, and the Troll King.

 

Justice League of America #3 -The JLA battles an alien tyrant called Kanjar Ro.

 

Justice League of America #4 -The JLA battles the ruler Xandor, tyrant of the planet Dryanna. Xandor has exiled one of his opponents on Earth. This exiled alien is Carthan, decides he has to pretend to be a villain in order to trick the JLA into fighting Xandor. While Xandor is the actual villain, the JLA spends this issue fighting against Carthan. When they realize the truth, the JLA offers to help overthrow Xandor, but Carthan declines their aid, deciding to fight Xandor himself. At the start of this story, the JLA was meeting in order to decide what other heroes to invite to join the JLA. Green Arrow was being held captive by Carthan, and Green Arrow plays a significant role in beating Carthan, earning him an invitation to join the team.

Justice League of America #5 -This issue features the first super-villain team-up uniting various villains from the League members' respective Rogues Galleries.

The villains are:

Captain Cold (From the Flash's Rogues Gallery)

Clock King (From Green Arrow's Rogues Gallery)

The Getaway Mastermind (From Martian Manhunter's Rogues Gallery)

Professor Menace (From Wonder Woman's Rogues Gallery)

Electric Man (From Aquaman's Rogues Gallery)

Puppet Master (From Green Lantern's Rogues Gallery)

Doctor Destiny (1st appearance in Justice League #5-hence, a JLA villain)

 

 

 

 

Justice League of America #6- Professor Amos Fortune discovers "luck glands" that, when activated, gives a person good luck. He uses this discovery to battle the Justice League. He later (Justice League of America #43) founds the Royal Flush Gang to fight the JLA, with himself as the Royal Flush Gang leader codenamed Ace. Fortune's next appearance is in Justice League of America #14, where he disguises himself as a different (new) villain, Memory Master.

 

Justice League of America #7- The Angellaxians were an alien race, who were trying to recover lost weaponry on Earth. They use their technology to create various traps to fight the JLA in a carnival.

 

 

Justice League of America #8- Petty criminal Pete Rickets stumbles upon a device that enables him to gain control over the members of the Justice League (minus Batman and Superman in this issue), and he farms them out to a group of crime lords, who have the JLA commit crimes for them. Snapper Carr saves the day, in part by using Doctor Destiny's anti-grav device. This is a good use of continuity in DC Silver Age comics.

 

 

Justice League of America #9- This, the 12th published JLA story, finally reveals the origin of the group. Celebrating the third anniversary of the Justice League, the gathered members tell Green Arrow and Snapper Carr the story of how the original members first teamed up. In this tale, a race of aliens, called Appellaxians, invade Earth, but each individual invader has different abilities. Only by joining together, were the heroes able to win. Interestingly enough, while Aquaman, Flash, Green Lantern, Martian Manhunter, and Wonder Woman all begin fighting the invaders individually, and only team up later, these five then travel to where Batman and Superman, who have teamed up many times before in Silver Age DC comics history, need their help to defeat a alien who has kryptonite.

 

Appellaxian invaders:

Crystal Creature

Mercury Monster

Glass-Man

Stone-God

Golden Roc

Wood-King

Fire-Lord

 

Justice League of America #10- Several significant villains are introduced in this issue, including Felix Faust, the Time Lord (later known as Epoch), and The Demons Three: Abnegazar, Ghast, and Rath.

Faust next appears on JLA #21

Time Lord and the three demons next appear in JLA #11

 

Justice League of America #11- This issue is a continuation of the League's battle with Time Lord and the Demons Three. This is the first instance of the JLA as a group traveling into the future, and is also the first storyline to cross over multiple issues.

 

Justice League of America #12- This issue features the first appearance of a major JLA villain, Doctor Light. Interestingly, this issue shows a tactic often used by Superman and Batman in their previous Silver Age team-ups: the old switching costumes trick.

Dr. Light

 

Justice League of America #13- The individual members of the JLA are kidnapped by an alien who needs their help in stopping his world's villain, named Zedd Brann, who has a device that will destroy Earth. The JLA has to fight robot versions of themselves, and, of course, they save the day.

 

 

Justice League of America #14- In a complicated plot, the tiny hero The Atom, is voted in as a member of the League. A new villain, Mister Memory, sets the League against a group of villains.

The villains are:

Mister Memory (actually a disguised Amos Fortune)

Hector Hammond (Green Lantern foe)

Pied Piper (Flash foe)

Sea Thief (Aquaman foe-1st appearance)

Angle Man (Wonder Woman foe)

Dr. Davis (Green Arrow foe)

 

Justice League of America #15- A group of Stone Giants from an alternate dimension, attempt to destroy cities on Earth to prevent their own world from being destroyed. Eventually, after fighting with the JLA, the giants work with the League to restore the vibrational sync between the worlds, and save the day. Interestingly, this plot device (alternate universes/the multiverse) is used in both DC and Marvel multiple times over the following decades.

Justice League of America #16- The League ends up helping a fan of the group come up with an ending to the fan's imaginary tale of how he thinks the JLA could be defeated. The "villain" in this story is a "fictional" villain named The Maestro, conceived of by the young fan.

 


Please cite this source when appropriate:

"The History Guy: Comics History"

Copyright 1998-2018 History Guy Media; Last Modified: 10.22.18--This copyright notice covers the written text and written analysis and historical descriptions on this page.

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